How are you going right now?
We are dealing with change on an unprecedented global scale; everyone has been touched by COVID-19 in some way. It's hard to stay calm in a changing world when everything about our lives is different. Most of us have difficulty coping with change at the best of times. But when it is all around and impacting us every day, emotionally, financially and socially, even the most hardy, adventurous and flexible amongst us is struggling.
Even though change is very difficult at the outset, we often find that weeks, months and sometimes years later, that the change we did experience worked in our favour. It is very hard to see any benefits when you are in the middle of a crisis. However, if you have a chance to find a peaceful spot, take the time to ponder moments in your life when you have experienced a crisis and how that turned out in the end.
At Koh Living, we are experiencing more change than we have in our entire time in business. Even with a solid business plan, there are so many things we simply are not prepared for; laying off staff, massive orders cancelled, airports and export channels closed and financial insecurity. This change is not only for us but our dedicated retail community as well. We are strong supporters of small business, so this has been a blow on so many levels. Not only did our own business plummet by 94%, a lot of our retailers have had to close and some will never recover. It helps to put things into perspective and look around at others who have been significantly more impacted than you have.
We want to share six ways to stay calm, find comfort and strength during these challenging times. We hope this will help you, too.
Start the day right. We begin every day with a special routine - 30-minute meditation, 5 minutes of affirmations, 5 minutes of visualisation, and physical exercise. This practice, which encourages stillness and focus on the breath, helps to quiet a racing brain and helps us start the day with a sense of calm. Find something to do each day that brings you calm and peace. To discover our morning routine, click here. We also have a spiritual collection of candle holders and oil burners that we use ourselves.
Every design has an inspiration - gratitude, mindfulness, wisdom, protection, and balance. Whatever you feel you (or a friend) need right now, you can get by surrounding yourself with gentle reminders.
Look after yourself. Drink plenty of water. Eat well. Take regular walks - get outside for fresh air and vitamin D. Get as much sleep as you can. Take a bath, get time for yourself when you can. These are all simple things, but it’s easy to forget to look after your own wellbeing when you are stressed. We often underestimate the power of all these activities, and it is really easy to let that slip during the times we need it most. It will help to reach out for help, ask a friend to join you in a routine if you are finding it difficult to get started. We are often afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is a sign of courage not a weakness so practice it because we need courage in our everyday.
Stay connected. Our team is scattered and so is our family. We are all working remotely. We are finding ways every week to keep in touch with our people. Using video calls when we can so we can see faces. We are truly blessed to live at a time when we have technology at our fingertips. However, with technology also comes a sense of disconnection. Society has become a little more disconnected than we were 20 years ago, so lockdown has not helped. Connection is the most important aspect of humanity, we are always happier when we are surrounded by people. Even if you cannot hug someone, send them a gift or a letter to let them know you are thinking of them.
Have a plan. Even though it is not 'business as usual', every day we have a schedule of what we need to do and what outcomes we are seeking. When everything around us seems out of control, it is really important to take control of your own actions. It is extremely important to keep in action, doing positive activities that will get you through this. We all have an enormous amount of untapped potential and power and this is a time to step into your power. It is absolutely possible that under any circumstances, we can rise above our circumstances and shine. Use this opportunity to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you think you are.
Look at this as an opportunity. The word 'pivot' is being used a lot right now and many people are looking for ways to reinvent their service offering to survive. There are many opportunities and lessons we are able to take from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not just businesses that are pivoting but people as individuals can also pivot. This is the time to take stock of your values, and what is most meaningful to you. This pandemic has given us a big wake up call which the planet probably needed. There will be some benefits that come out of this for the world and us as a community. What will you do differently as a result? How will this experience change you in a positive way going forward? What strategies will you put into place in order to prevent the impact being so big for the next time the world has a crisis?
Give back. We have all heard the saying 'its what we give not what we get' - this is easier said than done during a crisis of course! It is important that first you are kind to yourself, self-compassion. What do you need to get through this? Once you feel you are ok, it will help to think of others and how they are more impacted than you. When you do this, it takes the focus off of your own suffering. As hard as this may seem, when we are in a state of suffering we cannot help ourselves. It is only when we are balanced (and not in a state of suffering) that we can move forward and into action. We are all in this together and where possible, it’s so important to give back. If you are able to support a small business, even with a small purchase, this will make an enormous difference. We would love to hear the ways you are staying calm and positive right now, too.